Already have an account?
Get back to the

Exclusive Drew Barrymore Interview — How Mental Health, Self-Compassion, and Healthy Foods Have Changed Her Life

As a talk show host, producer, actor, cosmetics line founder, and mom of two, Drew Barrymore has her life down to a science — on paper. In a Woman’s World exclusive interview, the rom-com star explained that in reality, she doesn’t feel like she has it all together. And that’s okay.

The honesty comes as no surprise. The 47-year-old is renowned for making everyone in the world feel welcome in her world. She is so honest on screen and in her social media (we love those makeup-free product reviews on Instagram!) that sitting down to talk with her feels like talking to an old friend.

Mental health is a focal point for Barrymore.

It’s clear that the past two years in a pandemic have given Barrymore some new perspectives, especially when it comes to her mental wellbeing and life choices.

“I really want to focus on mental wellness,” she says. “And if somebody is like, ‘how do you balance it all?’ I’m like, ‘I don’t feel like I’m balanced at all.’ At all. I’m no model. I feel like a total hot mess. I’m burning the candle at both ends and putting work and my kids first. And then I’m on the back burner.”

So, what are her keys to dealing with a never-ending schedule and still feeling fulfilled? Self-compassion and self-improvement. “I’m trying to be more gentle [with] myself mentally,” she adds. “And convey kindness on the show we’re making [The Drew Barrymore Show]. And just keep growing as a person. … I’m going to the ‘mental gym’ right now and doing my workouts there, and it feels really good.”

Easy, healthy foods are important.

The other key for Barrymore: finding ways to cut down on day-to-day stressors, like dinner prep. She confesses that when her kids were little, she struggled to come up with meals that were both healthy and appealing. “I was a mom who just really wanted to avoid hangry meltdowns with kids,” she says. “They’ll just do anything when they’re kids and toddlers.”

The solution became a flexitarian diet. This trendy eating plan puts plants, beans, and whole grains first, but gives you wiggle room to eat meat and dairy every so often. And it’s perfect for Barrymore: “I don’t think I’m rigid about anything,” she explains.

A big part of her flexitarian diet has been her partnership with Quorn, a food brand that creates meat-free chicken and beef products that rival the real stuff. The not-so-secret ingredient in all their products is something called mycoprotein, which is made from a harmless fungus. Its long, thin fibers imitate the texture of meat.

According to Melissa Snover, registered nutritionist and Founder and CEO of Nourished, one of mycoprotein’s biggest health benefits is its protein content: “For every 100 grams of mycoprotein, there are 11 grams of protein,” Snover says. In addition, she thinks it’s a good option for people who want to eat heart-healthy foods because it is so low in fat and cholesterol.

While some products are probably healthier than others (the meatless chicken patties are covered in crispy bread crumbs), these meat alternatives make a lot of sense in a flexitarian diet. “We’re all obsessed with the nuggets,” Barrymore says, referring to her family. “I’ve never had anything like Quorn. I feel like chicken has been brought back into my life.”

Drew Barrymore and Quorn chicken
courtesy of Quorn
Drew Barrymore and the Quorn Chicken

Treat yourself — and the planet — with kindness.

For Barrymore, being a “Chief Mom Officer” for Quorn is about more than the tasty meals alone. It’s about self-improvement, because it means supporting a sustainable food source.

“I just want to be a part of good things,” she says. “Somehow, I’m managing to squeeze in time to do things with and for a network that makes me feel good, like working with Quorn and brands that are on the path that I want to be on.

“And I’m 47. And I’ve also been really hard on myself my whole life. I’m like, ‘When are we going to be gentle with ourselves?’ I know we want to be gentle with others, but like, I’ve completely lost sight of that question my whole life. So, that’s kind of new and fun for me.”

It’s a simple but essential question — one we all have to answer for ourselves. You might choose to be gentler with yourself by creating a self-care routine, forgiving yourself for past mistakes, or taking a big bite of a fake chicken sandwich. It’s up to you — we’re not here to judge, and we’d like to bet that Barrymore will cheer you on.

Use left and right arrow keys to navigate between menu items. Use right arrow key to move into submenus. Use escape to exit the menu. Use up and down arrow keys to explore. Use left arrow key to move back to the parent list.